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Author Notes: I'm beginning to think I should call my husband the Grad School Gourmet. This red lentil and rice dish was a cheap and nutritious take on a pilaf or biryani that got him through those years. I've dolled it up with a little preserved lemon and pomegranate. —dailywaffle
For the Lentils and Rice
- 1/2 cup red lentils, rinsed and picked over
- 1/2 cup basmati rice, rinsed
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced, divided
- 3 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1 pinch ground cinnamon
- 1 pinch ground allspice
- 1 pinch ground cloves
- 1 3/4 cups boiling water
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/2 Greek yogurt (full fat recommended)
- juice of half a lemon
- 1 tablespoon finely diced preserved lemon
- 1/4 cup pomegranate arils (for garnish)
- cilantro leaves (for garnish)
- Heat a 2-qt. sauce pan over medium heat. Add olive oil to pan. Cook onions until lightly browned around the edges, about 5 minutes. Add 2 minced garlic cloves and cook until fragrant, stirring constantly.
- Stir in spices and cook until fragrant. You don't want them to stick and burn on the bottom of the pan. Add the lentils and rice and stir to coat in the spices. Pour in the boiling water. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low. Cover and cook for 20 minutes. Fluff the rice with a fork when done.
- To make the yogurt sauce, combine yogurt, lemon juice, the remaining minced garlic and a pinch of kosher salt. The sauce should be thinned, but not watery. Garnish with preserved lemon (rind only).
- Garnish the lentils and rice with pomegranate arils, cilantro leaves (if using) and serve with yogurt sauce.